George Moala ruled out for All Blacks

George Moala has been ruled out of the All Blacks' Rugby Championship opener against the Wallabies on Saturday with a knee injury. Photo / AP.
George Moala has been ruled out of the All Blacks' Rugby Championship opener against the Wallabies on Saturday with a knee injury. Photo / AP.

George Moala's knee injury has made All Blacks coach Steve Hansen's decision on his midfield against the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday clearcut - Malakai Fekitoa will almost certainly start alongside Ryan Crotty.

The details about Moala's injury have yet to come out, but he was pictured on crutches with a heavily strapped knee today. The Blues midfielder, who had a superb test against Wales in Dunedin in June - his second for the All Blacks - would have pushed Highlanders centre Fekitoa close for a starting spot at ANZ Stadium, but it now appears Hansen's decision has been made for him.

Moala's injury has come on top of Sonny Bill Williams' ruptured Achilles, suffered while playing at the Olympics recently, which will rule him out of the game for the rest of the year.

Chiefs midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown was made a full member of the squad as a result of Williams' injury, and the 21-year-old is looming as an increasingly important part of Hansen's backline.

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